“Talk while you Nordic Walk” to boost unpaid carers’ health as part of Carers Active April

A local community group is offering two free Nordic walking taster sessions to unpaid carers as part of Carers Active April. An unpaid carer is someone who looks after a loved one, friend or relative with a long-term illness, or disability or who needs extra help as they grow older.

Carers Active April is an annual month-long campaign that takes place throughout April. The aim of the campaign is to encourage unpaid carers to become more active, since research by Carers UK has shown that 73% of unpaid carers say that being physically active makes them feel good about themselves and helps them to feel more connected to other people.

Nordic walking originated in Finland and is derived from cross country skiing. Walkers use two poles, one in each hand and push backwards, which then helps propel
them forward and ensures that they are walking with a nice straight back. Nordic walking has many health benefits as well as physical and mental ones too.
The two free taster sessions will be taking place on Monday 17 th April at 12pm at Ellis Park, Glenfield and on Wednesday 19 th April at 10.30am at Evington Park, Leicester and will last for half an hour.

Penny Fielden, Nordic Walking Instructor for the Ministry of Nordic Walks Community Group said:
“Carers Active April is a great way to get kick started in moving. Nordic Walking doesn’t only get you mobile, but it also gets you talking while you are walking which really helps your mental health. Being an unpaid carer, while rewarding can also be quite isolating. As a former unpaid carer, I know all too well how difficult and lonely it can be. That is why we are taking part in Carers Active April and have organised these sessions specifically for unpaid carers. We are keen for unpaid carers to reap not only the health benefits of Nordic Walking, but for them to be supported by their fellow walkers who understand and empathise with everything they are going through”.
Carers UK research found three quarters of unpaid carers (76%) are not able to do as much physical activity as they would like because of the pressures of their caring role. Many want to know how to build this into their busy lives. Only 14% of carers are active, compared to 54% of all adults.
Laura Bennett, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK said: “Carers Active April can be a helpful time for unpaid carers to think about ways they can look after themselves by moving and exercising, fitting this in, in small, achievable ways. Unpaid carers have told us that they often feel lonely. Nordic Walking is a great way to get active, and it also provides unpaid carers with the opportunity to talk to others in their community, including people who may be in a similar
situation. As we celebrate Carers Active April, it’s important to remember the importance of self-care and prioritise activities that promote wellbeing and rejuvenation”.

Penny Fielden

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